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Old 08-27-2010, 10:16 AM   #1
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to those of you good with fibreglas ...

i would KILL for the following:

a panel that replaces the tonneau panel, extends over the engine compartment and rolls down to meet the front of the engine compartment just behind the roll bar. it would mount at the back (hood pins? leather/rubber straps? hinges?) and at the front at the spin locks. it would have vent slats and you would delete roof and engine cover. it would provide the following benefits

- weight reduction - no roof, no engine cover, no carpet
- better engine sound - engine is open to the world
- better engine cooling - more airflow
- better engine access - two spinlocks and you're in
- 550 styling cues - what the boxster was supposed to look like!
- completely reversible.

you could also make a version with one hump (rsk) or two (speedster).

you would also need to fab up a lightweight speedster roof of some sort; some sort of tent pole/fastex fastener arrangement that has a vertical rear window and 'buttresses' that extend back to the rear of the panel for tension.

if you could mate a low-profile hardtop with vertical rear window and rear 'buttresses' with side vents to the above-mentioned panel, you would get a 904 carrera gts look happening and get a lightweight hardtop also (less rear glass) with improved engine cooling (the ram air vents).

someone make 'em for free for me and make a mold of the end result - i get what i want and you can become a millionaire selling it to other folks!
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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I'd love to see this!!!!
Since my car is a toy I would take the entire soft top assembly out as well!
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:44 AM   #3
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One cause for concern. The solid engine cover is a firewall. Having experienced two engine fires in previous cars I really like having a wall between me and um... fire.

You?
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:51 AM   #4
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personally Im not very concerned about that.

I would probably however just pout a clear engine cover on instead that would be more modern
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:16 PM   #5
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The lighter weight and better engine cooling would be fantastic, especially on my 3.8 car, but the sound would be ear shattering. Just try driving around with that cover removed and let me know what you think.

As to the firewall, that is a concern, which will vary from person to person.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:33 PM   #6
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a more accessible engine might let you at a fire faster, before it became fully engaged? and the front firewall would remain in place, just the top would be gone.

never thought about 'too loud', but 911 engines are open?

for those that just want the roof delete without the exposed engine, precision chassis works makes a bracket that allows you to re-attach your tonneau panel with the roof deleted. a bit of carpet to trim the interior and you are done. still need the speedster top, however (or a tonneau cover or similar).
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #7
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Yep, car fires give me the willies. I love barbecue just as long as I am not the main course. I don't worry nearly as much about saving the car as I do about getting my butt out whole. Here is Bryan Sellers in Utah when a fuel line parted this year:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXxwWBR1-4k
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:33 AM   #8
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I'm tinkering with a carbon fiber replacement for the big metal part that goes up and down behind the driver before the actual top lifts out ( sorry I don't know the official name for this ) .. but I am not sure if that's the part you are talking about.

Are you talking about ram air vents like behind the new 918 ?
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:53 AM   #9
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yeah, i'm calling that part the tonneau; i've also heard it called the clamshell. if you remove that part, along with the soft top, motors and engine cover, you lose a LOT of weight (= better performance) as well as let more air at the engine for cooling, improve engine tone and make access for maintenance easier.

you can't drive around with all that open, however, so you would need to fabricate a panel that replaced the clamshell panel as well as extended forward and terminated just behind the rollbar (have the front of it roll down and seal against the engine bulkhead). it could be held in place by the spinlocks, and be vented to let the engine breathe.

it would certainly have a 550 spyder look. further, you could add speed bumps if you liked. you would also need a speedster style roof similar to the one on the new spyder.

regarding the hard top, once you hand the rear panel fabricated you could bond a hardtop to it with a vertical rear window to get this look:

linky ...
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:41 PM   #10
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Ahh OK .. I get what you're saying now.

Hmm .. I wonder if it would work if the tonneau was simply made out of CF so its lighter and elongated with the slats that reaches to the roll bar. The end result in CF or even FG should still weigh less than the original tonneau which is actually quite heavy.

If we only went with the slats on a lighter and elongated version, the new tonneau might even be a 'bolt on' replacement with the original hardware ( since its lighter ).

But if we went with a speedster bump ( with open front vent so it acts like a ram air ), that would probably push enough air under there where you would need some kind of tie down in front too. Though I wonder how much more of this air will actually make it down to the engine.

Interesting project either way ..

Last edited by vijen6; 09-01-2010 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:29 AM   #11
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that is certainly one approach i have considered - bond a set of speed humps to the tonneau cover and remove all the seams so that it looks like one piece. bonded together like that you wouldn't need the straps to fasten it to the roll bar - it would be rigid enough to support itself. you could then make two, one, or no-hump versions, and make them lighter as well. check out the new boxster spyder to see what the humps mated to the tonneau cover look like.

the only issue now becomes that you have to remove the panel to operate your roof, and have no place to store it (can't use the spinlocks when the roof is up). the solution to that becomes a lightweight roof as is on the new boxster spyder. if you go that route you don't need the stock roof and can delete it (save weight). do that and you have no place to attach your tonneau cover in the back. but some other mechanism can be found for that (ie, precision chassis works makes a bracket just for that purpose).

the next step i took mentally was to delete the engine cover as well. you do that and you would have to put ventilation slats in the new cover, and perhaps heat/fire shielding. also, you would have to isolate the cabin from the engine compartment, so the new cover would have to roll down at the front to seal against the bulkhead separating the passenger compartment from the engine compartment.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #12
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hey - caught your edits - i think speedster humps, if left open to the front, would catch air and rip off, or at least direct too much heat and noise towards the driver. note also that the tonneau cover opens forward, so that mechanism could not be used if the cover were to be extended. for cooling vents i was thinking something like this:

550 coupe

but on a panel that looked kinda like this:

boxster prototype

or a combo of these:

speed humps

if you kept the stock soft top you would not need the vents, but would have to remove the custom panel and reinstall the original panel every time you put the roof up. or, you could delete the soft top and have a small custom job sewn like this:

spyder roof

if you deleted the roof you could also delete the engine cover - i've just learned of the clear covers, or you could go without, in which case you would need the vents and to use the custom panel to isolate the passenger compartment from the engine compartment like this (note the red trim piece that joins the body panel with the bulkhead):

550 cockpit

Last edited by The Radium King; 09-01-2010 at 02:53 PM.
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